2013: Australia’s R18+ games rating in full effect

Finally, my friends, Australia has grown up. January 1 2013 marks the first day that an R18+ Adults Only rating for video games comes into effect across the nation. Starting today, the new R18+ category will bring the classification of computer games into line with films, and means Australia is no longer languishing behind the rest of the western world.

Left 4 Dead 2 - Cricket Bat

The original Left 4 Dead 2 - a high-profile game refused classification in Australia

Games that are deemed to contain "high impact" themes and content, or are only suitable for adults, will be given the R18+ rating, and will only be sold or rented to people able to show proof of age. In most states and territories, it will be illegal for people under 18 to buy, hire or view any games with the rating, and it will be illegal for retailers to sell R18+ games that do not feature the new Classification Board markings. (At present, Queensland is the only state to have not passed legislation to deal with the new system, and is expected to consider the new laws "early next month".)

At the same time, games which do not meet classification criteria will be refused classification in Australia, effectively banned from display or sale.

Despite the introduction of the new classification, the first R18+ games are expected to be a few months away yet, with many gamers speculating over just which of the 2013 blockbusters will be the first to get an R18+. Early favourites including Tomb Raider, Aliens: Colonial Marines and Crysis 3 have all been granted MA15+, leading some fans to wonder whether upcoming RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth may receive the dubious honour.

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11 Responses to “2013: Australia’s R18+ games rating in full effect”

  1. […] one of the first R18+ titles available in Australia, Ascension certainly earns its stripes in this regard. Developers are now […]

  2. […] it may seem on the surface, this likely has nothing to do with the content of the game. Australia's R18+ adults only rating means that even something involving the shuffling undead will get through the Classification Board, […]

  3. […] and gentlemen, those of you who thought the new R18+ rating for video games meant no more games would be Refused Classification in Australia, think again. The […]

  4. […] the Australian Classification Board for the delay – State of Decay breached the guidelines for an R18+ rating, by including drug use related to incentives or […]

  5. […] sexual references or scenes. In case you were concerned about the in-game drug use, it seems that the new R18+ rating is doing its job: "High impact" drug use would have been enough to earn the game a ban as recently […]

  6. […] with the introduction of an R18+ adults only rating in Australia, video games are still being edited before making it Down Under. The latest? […]

  7. […] that prompted the Australian video games classification system, which simply did not feature an adults-only rating until […]

  8. […] The uncut version of Left 4 Dead 2 has just been re-classified by the Australian Classifications Board, and granted an R18+ rating. Yes, that's the original version of the game that caused so much drama when it was initially submitted 5 years ago and played such a big part in the push for Australia's adults-only rating. […]

  9. […] POST: The introduction of the R18+ adults-only rating two years ago has significantly reduced the number of games being refused classification, so it's […]

  10. […] Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 under a codename. (This was back in the day before Australia had an R18+ rating, when publishers would submit games under false identities to hopefully disperse any negative press […]

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